Does makeup age your skin?

Does Makeup Age Your Skin?

It is an oft-asked question: does makeup damage your skin over time? The truth is that, generally speaking, makeup won’t age the skin per se. Wear and tear, however, can cause premature aging if you don’t take the right precautions and look after your complexion properly.

What is Makeup?

Before we can fully understand how makeup can affect your skin, we need to figure out what makeup actually is. Makeup, at its core, is essentially a combination of evolved organic and chemical compounds that are designed to cover, enhance and protect the skin. Makeup products can include foundations, primers, concealers, mascaras, eyeshadows, bronzers, blushers, lipsticks and more.

When it comes to the ingredients, makeup products can contain both natural and synthetic chemicals. These chemicals are often combined to form a complex formula that serves multiple functions, including providing a protective barrier against environmental aggressors. As such, makeup products can play an important role in skin health, so long as the right ingredients and products are chosen.

What Causes Skin Damage Over Time?

There are many things that can affect skin health over time, but the most common one? Sun exposure! Excessive sunlight can cause premature aging, which is why you should always wear a sunscreen every day—even when you’re not wearing makeup. Sun exposure leads to the formation of wrinkles, dark spots and other signs of aging and damage.

Other environmental factors can also affect your complexion over time. This includes cigarette smoke, pollution, too much or too little moisture and, of course, stress.

Makeup and Damage

But, does makeup really cause damage to your skin? Well, it can if you’re not careful. Firstly, makeup can contain harsh ingredients that, when used too often, can cause a range of issues. This can include inflammation, redness, irritation, sensitivity and even breakouts.

It’s also important to remember that makeup can suffocate the skin if not properly removed. This is particularly common with waterproof and long-wearing formulations, but all makeup products should be properly removed before you go to sleep. Not doing so can lead to clogged pores, blackheads, whiteheads and more.

Another thing people tend to forget is the tools used to apply makeup. Static brushes and sponges can accumulate bacteria, which can then be transferred to your skin— causing the development of breakouts and infection. To reduce the risk of skin damage, clean your makeup brushes and sponges regularly, choosing natural cleansers and products that are free from harsh ingredients.

Finally, there’s the issue of expiration dates. It’s important to remember that all makeup products have a shelf life, and using products that are past their expiration date can result in contamination, irritation and more. So, always check the expiration date of your makeup products before use.


So, does makeup damage the skin over time? Not necessarily. With the right precautions and lifestyle habits, makeup can actually help to protect your skin against damage. However, it’s important to keep in mind that some makeup products and tools can be damaging if not used properly, so it’s important to pay attention to the ingredients, expiration date and tools you’re using.

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